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For Immediate Release: August 26, 2010
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

MBL Scientist Joins Gulf Coast Task Force
Linda Deegan among scientists and engineers to serve as advisors on oil spill, other coastal issues

Linda Deegan
MBL senior scientist Linda Deegan. Photo credit Tom Kleindinst. Larger image.

WOODS HOLE, MA—Dr. Linda A. Deegan, a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory’s (MBL) Ecosystems Center has been selected to join a group of eminent scientists and engineers to address issues related to the restoration of the Mississippi River delta in the Gulf of Mexico. Members of the group, called the Science and Engineering Special Team (SEST), have been drawn from academic and non-governmental organizations around the world and represent diverse disciplines including ecology, engineering, and economics.

Dr. Deegan and her colleagues will advise federal, state, and regional advocacy groups, as well as the Obama administration, on emerging coastal issues, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the development of a White House Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration plan. The SEST will meet at regular intervals, approximately three times per year, over a two-year period. Its first meeting is on September 20th in Baton Rouge, LA.

“The Gulf Coast of America stands at a critical moment—a time when the region faces significant challenges and opportunities to redirect human actions toward a sustainable and desirable future,” said Dr. Deegan. “I’m honored to be a part of this team which will serve an important role in shaping the future of this unique ecosystem.”

Dr. Deegan joined the staff of the Ecosystems Center in 1989 where she studies marine and freshwater ecosystems , with a special interest in fishes. Her research spans the globe, from the Brazilian Amazon, to the marshes of Massachusetts’ Plum Island Sound, to the rivers of Arctic Alaska.

As part of the Brown-MBL Graduate Program in Biological and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Deegan is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. She serves as office director for the joint NSF/NOAA/MBL Comparative Analysis of Marine Ecosystem Organization (CAMEO) program and is scientific co-chair of the International Estuarine Research Federation Meeting. Dr. Deegan is also a member of the Ecological Society of America, the International Estuarine Research Federation, and the American Fisheries Society. She received a 2006 Fulbright Fellowship to study the effects of rainforest clearing on the biodiversity of streams in Brazil’s Amazon River ecosystem. Dr. Deegan received a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern University, a M.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.


The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.